What Does John 18:36 Mean?

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."

John 18:36(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Jesus is the heavenly Man. He came down to this world from above, and He came to redeem a race of lost sinners and to rescue a fallen creation from the destructive ravages of sin and Satan, darkness, disease and death.

Since Adam's ruinous decision to believe Satan's lies in the garden of paradise, man was dethroned from his appointed position to rule the earth and govern creation, and in his place, Satan set up his own, broken world-kingdom, becoming the god of this world and the prince of the power of the air.

No wonder the Lord Jesus, in His staggering interview with Pilate the governor of Judea, proclaimed My kingdom is not of this realm. My kingdom is not of this world. My kingdom will not be set up in subordination to the current world system while it is still under the ungodly authority of Satan - who wrested earthly dominion from man - God's first and only appointed ruler.

Jesus made it very clear to Pilate that He was a King, but His kingdom was not a political kingdom that would threaten any earthly rule. His kingdom was a heavenly one that would stand in stark contrast to the worldly kingdoms with their armies and navies, their swords, and battering rams. "Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."

Jesus did not come to conquer Rome, or any other kingdom through earthy means. His followers would have fought for Him had He come to take the world by force. Not only that - Pilate had no power over Him because Jesus had at His disposal twelve legions of angels, if His mission had been to topple Rome and conquer the world by human means.

Christ's kingdom would not be subject to the same carnal principles and broken practices, upon which proud kingdoms of the earth are founded. His kingdom would not be subject to the satanic lies and demonic deceit that have influenced the empires of the world for six millennia. His kingdom would not be gained by force or domination. His kingdom will be one of righteousness and peace, love and justice, light, and life. His will be a kingdom standing on the sacrificial offering of Christ on the cross, for the redemption of the world.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the heavenly Son of God and the rightful King of kings and the Lord of the universe. He alone is qualified to be the Governor of the World. But He could never set up His earthly rule under the governance of the usurper, Satan. The devil and all his armies must first be overthrown GOD's way, before the angelic chorus will rejoice that: the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ.

Jesus confessed His kingly authority in the presence of Pilate, only days after multitudes in Jerusalem had hailed Him as their long-awaited King; strew palm branches in His path and joyfully cried out, Hosanna to the Son of David... but within days, those same voices screamed out: we will not have this Man to rule over us - we have no king but Caesar - Crucify Him!!

Little did this crowd know that before the crown must come the cross. Before Jesus could be enthroned as the eternal King of kings and Lord of lords, He must first die the cruel death of the Suffering Servant, so that by His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection He could smash Satan's spiritual authority over the earth - and man; destroy the works of the evil one; crush the serpent's head as prophesied in Genesis, and claim victory over the current realm of Satan.

When Jesus came to set up His kingdom at His first advent, in fulfilment of prophecy, He was rejected by those He came to save and crucified on Calvary's cross. Before the coronation crown could be placed on His head, He had to shed His blood on Calvary's cross, to pay the price for the sin of the world, and redeem the fallen race of man. FIRST, He had to rescue the souls of men, who had been enslaved by the evil one.

Jesus did not come as a conquering King to defeat Rome. He came as a suffering Servant and our kinsman-Redeemer to defeat Satan and sin and death and hell, so that all who believe on HIM would not remain chained in Satan's snare and perish, but would be redeemed - bought and paid for with His blood. And the price was paid for in FULL. 

The Son of God came to earth as the Son of Man to reclaim this lost world for God. He came to redeem mankind and reconcile man back to God. He came as the second Adam; the perfect Man; the rightful Heir and God's Anointed. He came to reclaim the earthly kingdom and reestablish Man's rule over the earth once more - but first, He had to pay the price for the sin of mankind.

The Lord Jesus Christ has already gained the victory, and will one day return to finish all that He started and set up His heavenly kingdom on earth. He will come to rule and reign, in power and great glory, and He will come in God's way and at God's appointed time. First the cross and then the crown. First the shame then the glory.

First He had to defeat the world's corrupted kingdom of sin and Satan, darkness, disease, and death - through His own death at Calvary. THEN He will return to set up the heavenly kingdom of righteousness and peace, love and justice, light, and life. 

First the redemption of mankind and then the setting up of Godly appointed authority on earth, when God's lost kingdom is regained - through Jesus Christ - God of gods; Light of lights; King of kings and Lord of heaven and earth.

My Prayer

Father, we thank You for the eternal plan of salvation, which required the shame of the cross of Christ before the joy of the Kingdom’s crown. Thank You that Satan is a defeated enemy. May I live in the world but not be a part of this fallen world system, and use me to proclaim Your truth to others, in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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